Good writing, bad weather
It's been snowing like crazy here. Every day I hope that school will be cancelled, but it never is. They make announcements about the buses over the intercom that I don't understand because I think no matter how well you master a language, hearing it muffled and blared loudly over an intercom is never easy.
I finished Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding finally yesterday. It's in the same vein as Tom Jones but less funny and with less tangential stories that illustrate Fielding's moral leanings. It does, though, poke fun of other authors at the time, most notably Samuel Richardson and Thomas Cibber. You have to love a guy who wrote a whole novel, Shamela purely to parody another famous novel of the same time period by a different author (Samuel Richardson's Pamela)
Currently, I'm working my way through the third volume of the Prague Literary Review which, though sometimes extremely pretentious and elitist on the part of it's editors, has good writing from people in Eastern/Central Europe and a sweet layout. If you ever want to read a good Canadian author living in Poland, check out Soren Gauger. All the postmodernity, none of the pretention.
I think I'll tackle some Calvino next, or make my way through some French lit. With my computer broken I can't listen to podcasts about the news, so now I actually have to read it online or buy Le Monde and the International Herald Tribune. Suck.
Reflecting on my time spent here, I'm very happy I came. Yes, I am lonely, but I feel like I've really developed myself as a person and had a lot of good thoughts about the world and my place in it since I've been here. Every day I learn something new in French, or another fact about European politics/government/society/life. My writing is still crap, but I have a lot of better ideas on where I don't want it to go, and what I do not want to be "when I grow up". That has to count for something. This is time spent well, even if sometimes I watch too much 24 over at Jon's house or speak too much English during a week. My French is so much better than when I came, and I know that I've been exposed to a million new ideas that I would never have found back in the U.S.
The friendships I've made cannot be forgotten here either. All of the new people I've met are really cool, and the friends from back home that I've connected up with in Europe astound me by how intellectual and confident and thoughtful they are (James, Sheng and Lisa, that's you). This is an inspiring experience I hope to repeat every day the rest of my life.